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Are Attractive Women Perceived As Objects?

A new study provides evidence that sexy women are seen as objects, whereas sexy men are seen as persons. College undergraduates were briefly shown images of scantily clad men and women that were either shown right-side up or upside down. Participants recognized upright images of men better than inverted images, while images of women were recognized equally well no matter how they were presented. This is consistent with a longstanding finding in cognitive psychology that we take spatial relationships in account when we view people (i.e., we have a harder time recognizing them when they’re upside down), but not objects.  

To learn more about the details of this study, check out this article on The Psychology of Human Sexuality.

Bernard, P., Gervais, S. J., Allen, J., Campomizzi, S., & Klein, O. (2012). Integrating sexual objectification with object versus person recognition: The sexualized-body-inversion hypothesis. Psychological Science, 23, 469-471.

image source: polopuentearanda.com

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Reader Comments (1)

Yes they definitely are. This is why women, as they age, are generally laid off earlier than men and find themselves out of the job market entirely.

Employers like to put younger women on the front desk, especially in places like car companies etc. where the greatest number of buyers of expensive cars are men.

They like women who show a bit of boob, so that their cars sell better.

As soon as that boob starts to wrinkle, they are gone. This goes for many companies.

Companies who cater to women also do that "somewhat" because they want to also help promote the image that sexuality is good (and it is, for women who want to find someone to support them). They may downplay it a little bit however, so as to not offend some women.

Even a local newspaper in Alberta (Canada) prints daily pictures of semi nude women. At one time I asked them if they could do the same to men (to demean them a bit also, although I didn't say the last part.) They tried it but it didn't last long, probably because although women like to look at attractive men, they don't see them in the same way. Most learned already at an early age that really attractive men are often extremely shallow under the cover, and that less attractive men are actually better catches (as well as a keepers).

Women also serve to demean themselves and create this "throw-out" image on their own, by catering to the "show me your boobs" mentality.

The types of women I detest most are those who dress their children in sexy clothes, or worst of all enter them in pagents for toddlers, teaching them at an early age that nothing counts but their bodies. These young children are going to be very sad adults when they are in their 40's and their bodies start to slide. Either that, or they will become cougars, slinking and sliding around and clinging to young men who really just want them for their money. They will so believe themselves to be sexy that they won't be able to see through that.

They will also help continue promote society's opinion that women really "are" nothing, without attractive bodies. More needs to be done to educate such mothers, but it could be difficult because corporations make money on sex and they will work doubly hard to keep women in the worthless "body" category.

I saw an TV ad by some company about a year ago that was supposedly empowering women. There was a little girl on the TV and she was saying,
I am pretty,
I am good,
I am worthwhile, etc.

The only thing she didn't say in this ad was that she was smart. Was this done deliberately to further demean women, and keep them in the "sexuality" role versus to help promote the "intellectual" role, or was it an oversight? I can't help but believe it was done purposely by the corporation that sponsored the ad, which I believe, if not mistaken, was some kind of "soap" ad.

This degradation of women has been going on probably since the beginning of time.

When women are young, men (and even governments) want more of them around than men, so they send off the young men to war to be killed. They maintain a constant supply of playmates and sex trade workers that way. This helps boost the young population.

When women are older, however, there are fewer men than women, because the men tend to die off earlier. Many of those women, who were laid off earlier in life than men overall, also pull in lower incomes, have lower pensions, and become a burden to governments who now find that they don't contribute a lot to the economy with such low income and are actually a burden. So governments themselves find them expensive, and tend to give them poorer medical care. They will allow them a lot of visits, but when it comes to treatment it's a different thing.

Men also get more knee operations than women, because women aren't considered as valuable to society, so they would probably not need their knees as much. Heh heh -- Governments might help fund their breast enhancement operations though, knowing that they may indeed be of more worth to society overall with their breasts than with their knees.

Where hip operations stand, I don't know. I would think that by the way women are built, they would probably need double or even triple the number of hip operations that men would need. It would be interesting reading about more data regarding that -- not how many get the operations really -- but how many are "declined" that operation, compared to men.


July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
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